Have you noticed that sometimes, the things you chase after — whether goals or desires or plans — are a response to old, deeply held fears? Of being inadequate, unworthy, of not being successful, feeling stuck, of being ill, not being seen or loved? So we go after various things to feel less inadequate, find success, feel movement, prevent illness, to be seen, searching for love.
When the motivation to go after something comes from offsetting or tending to an underlying fear, without first looking at the root of that fear itself, the satisfaction it provides is often short-lived. Or the chase is often more thrilling than the catch. Before long, we’re on to the next thing to soothe or keep the same underlying feeling at bay.
(Think of it as a bandaid slapped on to a deep wound that probably needs antiseptic medication, daily cleaning and tending to, which will cause it to probably burn and hurt, leave you in pain for a while before it begins to heal. Slapping on a bandaid might provide immediate ease, and at least it averts the visual evidence of the wound itself. So you can go on with life for a while. In the meantime the wound festers and rears its head again. In the form of an infection, or something worse.)
While there is nothing wrong with moving from one thing to another (even rapidly), it’s a good idea to get a sense of the deeper motivation that drives you. This doesn’t mean your goals/dreams are misguided and you need to swap them out for new ones. Instead, it is an invitation to turn your focus to what moves and propels you to get after things.
If there are obvious fears acting as motivators, it maybe worthwhile to tend to them, put them at ease to see what else can motivate you. And then see how your life may change because of it?
Noticing the mere existence of a need, is not always reason to immediately fulfil it. There is merit in learning to tell the difference between sparkling impulses that shine bright, but briefly, providing light and warm momentarily; and deeper desires that lie like raging fires beneath, unwilling to be doused, and waiting to be fanned to life.
Ask yourself: What does success look like? How does satisfaction feel in my body? When do I know that I have had enough? How can I listen closer?
Discerning the difference between these is to also understand that sometimes what you want the most, also scares you the most. To acknowledge and own this, is the first step to moving towards these desires anyway. Slowly, but surely.